Common Core’s Corporate Relations with Pearson and Teach for America (TFA)

by Michelle Maher, Ph.D.

Teachers and their networks constitute enormous collective financial power.  This essay encourages public school teachers, administrators, and counselors’ networks to boycott and resist organizations that invest in and/or benefit from the (uninvited) corporate takeover of public education. Diane Ravitch’s new book Reign of Error outlines how hedge fund managers and investment advisors have organized a private corporate takeover of public education, through the leveraging of NCLB funding and “privatization options” in by the Federal Department of Education, public schools are being pushed out of “business.”  But teachers know the rules of “just business” often do not result in justice for public school youth, particularly those who attend low-income schools.

To deal with teachers’ resistance to new regimes, given the very real impact by massive strikes in Philadelphia, Seattle, Tucson, and  New York City, Teach for America organizes the replacement of certified teachers with under-trained and under-qualified instructional staff.  While NCLB is touted as helping children compete in the global market, it seems that (multi)national/global companies are interested in a monopoly of public school curricula and testing dissemination.

With this in mind, I have gathered a few of the (multi)national organizations that contribute to, invest in or benefit from Pearson and Teach for America. These are companies that stand to benefit from the privatization of public education. After the name of the firm, I indicate how it is related to either Pearson or Teach for America. Please consider letting them know that you are withdrawing YOUR business. Amana Mutual Funds Trust-Income Fund: Top mutual fund  holder in Pearson AT&T—donor for Teach for America BB&T Securities and Corp: Top institutional stock holder in Pearson Bank of America—Corporate Partner/Sponsor/Supporter/Investor with TFA Bertelsman (and by extension Time Warner, Sony, BMG)—Pearson Board Member’s Corporate Relationship Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—Pearson Board Member’s Corporate Relationship Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona—donor for Teach for America British Petroleum—Pearson Board Member’s Corporate Relationship Cisco—Corporate Partner/Sponsor/Supporter/Investor with TFA Citigroup, Citibank, CitiCorp —Pearson Board Member’s Corporate Relationship Coca-Cola Foundation—Corporate Partner/Sponsor/Supporter/Investor with TFA Credit Suisse Americas Foundation—Corporate Partner/Sponsor/Supporter/Investor with TFA DFA International Value Series: Top mutual fund  holder in Pearson Dimensional Fund Advisors, LP: Top institutional stock holder in Pearson General Mills Foundation—donor for Teach for America Goldman Sachs Gives—donor for Teach for America ExxonMobil Foundation—donor for Teach for America FedEx Corporation—donor for Teach for America Fidelity Investments/Internation—Corporate Partner/Sponsor/Supporter/Investor with TFA Freddie Mac Foundation—donor for Teach for America The Hartford—donor for Teach for America Hellman Family Foundation—donor for Teach for America Hewlett-Packard—donor for Teach for America Hostess Brands—Corporate Partner/Sponsor/Supporter/Investor with TFA Invesco Ltd.: Top institutional stock holder in Pearson JPMorgan Chase—donor for Teach for America, Top institutional stock holder in Pearson Lincoln VIP tr-SSgA Developed International 150 Fund: Top mutual fund  holder in Pearson Lowe’s—Corporate Partner/Sponsor/Supporter/Investor with TFA Michigan State Treasurer: Top institutional stock holder in Pearson Monsanto—donor for Teach for America Morgan Stanley—donor for Teach for America Nokia Corporation —Pearson Board Member’s Corporate Relationship Penguin Random House —Pearson Board Member’s Corporate Relationship PGA Tour—donor for Teach for America Power-GEN—Pearson Board Member’s Corporate Relationship Powershares Engh Traded Fd: Top mutual fund  holder in Pearson Ridgeworth Mid & Large Cap Value Equity Fd.: Top mutual fund  holder in Pearson Seventh Generation—Corporate Partner/Sponsor/Supporter/Investor with TFA Sterling Capital Management Company: Top institutional and mutual fund stock holder in Pearson Suntrust Banks, Inc.: Top institutional stock holder in Pearson SurveyMonkey—Corporate Partner/Sponsor/Supporter/Investor with TFA Symantec Foundation—donor for Teach for America Thornburg Investment Management Inc.: Top institutional stock holder in Pearson U.B.S. Financial Services: Top institutional stock holder in Pearson U.S. Bank—donor for Teach for America Vanguard International Stock Index-MSCI EUrope ETF: Top mutual fund  holder in Pearson Wells Fargo—Corporate Partner/Sponsor/Supporter/Investor with TFA Williams-Sonoma, Inc. —Corporate Partner/Sponsor/Supporter/Investor with TFA Visa, Inc. —Corporate Partner/Sponsor/Supporter/Investor with TFA Yale University—donor for Teach for America